canadian pharmacy 24 misoprostol fast shipping octreotide scan protocol sertraline side effects depression mercury drug price list of medicine viagra online prescription free liquidex dosage on cycle anti azulfidine 500 mg espanol order online propranolol 40mg macrobid for uti while breastfeeding keflex side effects in dogs buy mg brand cialis best over the counter viagra buy albuterol without rx brand cialis canadian pharmacy meds buy comments buy treatment for chlamydia pravachol 20mg pulmicort flexhaler 180 mcg price amermycin 100mg clomid eutirox side effects pinamox 250mg is how many ccpiroxicam atepros side effect viagra clandestino allegra coupons for 2014 laxifen dosis de amoxicilina linezolid antibiotics cost tricor 145 mg cholesterol tests at walgreens im hydrating canadian meds pharmacy candesartan without prescription viagra fast uk online prescriptions thailand keflex antibiotic uses priligy infarmed octreotide acetate side effects where to buy cialis buy tramadol from canada cod leponex drug study buy terramycin in the uk getting off tramadol fast clonidine pariet 20mg ed drugs online toprol xl 25 mg tablet diroton bgsu online pharmacy colchicine florinef acetate information albuterol inhaler side effects doctor accutane results after 3 weeks clindamycin hcl 300 mg uses viagra price in spain buy low cost viagra buy lasix overnight delivery best generic viagra sites viagra online prescription usa can you buy cialis online phentermine 37.5 side effects viagra en ligne carte maestro order medications online fucidin cream uses viagra for sale denver 50 mg viagra claritab 500 desogestrel and ethinyl estradiol birth control combivent no prescription needed fucidin hydrocortisone nootropil medicine cheap viagra us companies only dormidina information systems xerograx 120 mg doxazosin cardura medication zithromax antibiotic price robaxin 750 mg tablets microcidal meaning of love luvox dosage side effects salibet ointment definitionsalzarex protonix generic side effects snythroid no scrip provera 10mg to start period colchicine treatment where to buy colchicine for plants rhinocort nasal spray price cost comparison viagra vs cialis 25 euroclinix uk basketball prednisone without a scrip where eagles dare actress lidocaine side effects injection target farmacia zofran for hangover better than viagra over the counter buspar xanax medication ciprotab 500mg amoxicillin therapy dog certification texas buy retin a online no prescription effexor withdrawal symptoms last ciproxin hc ear drops tynadasol for puppies dermizol cremated best sale viagra haldol decanoate trimetabol posologie smecta proviron impotence mesterolone amsa fast orlistat como se toma antibiotics online paypal cholesterol guidelines 2014 american heart association eldepryl medication identification enalapril maleate medication generic ordering clozaril online 30 day supply viargra ag guys cialis danazol drug interactions cialis generika rezeptfrei viagra canada pharmacy legitimate india pharmacies proventil inhaler medication drug advantage one federal credit union morrison il non prescription synthroid viagra pils from canada proscar 5mg cost prednisone overdose donde venden cytotec en guatemala where can i buy motrin 800 how to treat bacterial vaginosis lamotrigine overdose allegra d 12 hour coupons cialis 5mg online without prescriptions prozac nation author can u get high off of indomethacin epanutin drug testing rimadyl 25mg ciprotab 500 ed hardy love and luck body wash famciclovir for shingles dosage viagra 150 milligrams buy isoptin without prescription orderpharma accutane before and after pictures microcidal tablets sale buy name brand viagra clomid success stories 50 mg doxepin side effects diarrhea viagra ohne rezept bestellen walgreens employee website citalopram versus prozac ipratropium bromide atrovent contraindications generic cytotec online quinine water wellbutrin xl 150 over the counter lotrisone revista oroskopi dutasteride avodart for sale acyclovir 800mg medication espanol propranolol for migraines side effects uk pharmicist prednislone topiramate side effects what is cost of levitra at walgreens zofran for children for nausea potassium rich foods potassium deficiency qsymia weight loss drug reviews by patients viagara for men atosil dosierung diclofenac the erection company arlington canadian pharmacy paypal amphetamine salts er 20mg aristocort cream 0.02 risnia tablets at walmart norlevo torrinomedica permixon zyprexa olanzapine medication lisinopril 20mg online pharmacy atorlip paypal bactroban cream 2 price cialis vs viagra vs levitra which is better genuine cialis online shopping buy antibiotics online securely cockapoo puppies for sale available in michigan cuvarlix review of fifty daily cialis sales spiriva inhaler generic lamictal side effects medication paxil dosage strengths benoquin before and after photos wellbutrin weight loss stories onadron damla o lexapro medication online meds without a prescription bevispas dosage iraplax orlistat 120mg cheap buy clomid without prescription sotalol side effects taking cataflam medication pain ucb pharma keppra patient assistance program indocin side effects dose where is best prices for viagra milanuncios barcelona vs levante misoprostol for miscarriage side effects order pills online with echeck buy cialis cheap lincocin aquadrops leadmedic online pharmacy tadalafil cialis 500 mg fda approved rx diflucan drugs where can i get penicillin in melbourne antivert medication vertigo antibiotics paypal sildegra tablet cases provigil medication assistance clozaril patient monitoring service mexitil contraindications for nitroglycerin astelin nasal spray over the counter 24hr candian pharmacy risnia tablets on sale medrol side effects metoprolol tartrate 50mg picture order abilify without a prescription cipla generic price list hydrodiuril dosage mirapex restless leg syndrome levitra super active reviews euthyrox 50 mcg eprex injections side effects digoxin toxicity symptoms in elderly himcolin gel in india prednisolone for cats canada cialis for daily use side effects hydroxyzine hcl 10mg information valtrex without rx anti biotic drugs without prescriptions januvia 100 januvia coupon 50 off xenical orlistat 120mg capsules nasonex coupon cheap generic nexium fluoxetine 10mg cap alzytec tablets for sale glucovance side effects medication kamagra australia mastrcard rabeprazole sodium vs. omeprazole buy synthroid from mexico diabecon ingredients for lasagna internet tgel modafinil provigil reviews cockapoo puppies for sale in pa cefixime dosage for gonorrhea lamotrigine 100mg picture diroton bgc tantalum carbide powder topamax weight loss topamax dosage for weight loss metrotab church chattanooga tn hotels orlistat no prescription buy clonotril online comprar cialis en washington propecia for women dyazide medication side effects sildenafil precio hydroxyzine hcl 10mg tablet evista and breast cancer prevention adderall withdrawal symptoms in baby pilex tablets review adipex p 37.5mg capsules review to purchase cialis in australia online thialand pharmacy viamedic com vfw store promo celexa without a script in aruba dapoxetine fda approved price of cialis at walgreens levaquin antibiotic and alcohol cuvarlix pharmaniaga cheap viagra check fastest and best generic pharmacy advair inhaler medicine lasuna plantar over the counter diabetic medicine

CATEGORY

A Basic Tofu Primer

Written by Allaya Fleischer on Thursday, 09 February 2012. Posted in Food Mood

 
I remember, back in high school, tofu was a bad word; the butt of many jokes, at the very least.  It was in high school, I learned the ins and outs of using tofu as a literary device, a practical joke, and a visual pun.  What was an Asian girl to do?  I devoured my tofu in secrecy, lest I become part of the joke.  No, people weren't so on board with the concept of tofu back then, not like now.  Today, tofu, tofu derivatives, and soy-based meat replacement products constitute a multi-million dollar industry, catering to vegetarians, the lactose-intolerant, the health-conscious, and any number of the growing population of allergy sufferers.  And that's just in the United States.  
 
Soy products, of course, are practically a staple in Asia, providing a low-fat, inexpensive source of protein, vitamins and minerals to an extremely large populous.  Many health-conscious Americans embraced tofu in recent years for exactly these reasons, yet, surprisingly, a large number still don't quite know what to make of this mystery ingredient.  What is tofu, exactly?  I remember one of my friends scrunching up her nose as I sliced into a block of tofu I, just minutes before, meticulously dried in paper towels.  She had exactly the same question.  "Basically," I replied, "it's cheese.  Vegan cheese."  She raised a dubious eyebrow.  As strange as it may seem, that's essentially what it is; not too far off from traditional paneer.
 
Just as one might make cheese at home, heating milk and adding a coagulant (acid for cow's milk, calcium or magnesium compounds for soy milk) to curdle the milk solids, one may also technically do the same with soy milk to make tofu.  Soy milk, much like cow's milk is a colloidal suspension of fats, proteins, and water, so it behaves in much the same way.  The resulting soy curds from this process are basically what make up the block of tofu you buy at the store.  The firmness indicates the amount of coagulant used, which can result in either tight or loose packing of proteins within the tofu block. 
 
One of the main complaints I hear about tofu usually relates to its taste and texture; or the lack thereof.  I hear stories of people chopping it up and putting it into salads, or dipping it into soy sauce and eating it raw.  Although there's absolutely nothing wrong with consuming tofu like this, I will agree that it's not terribly tasty that way.  While tofu does make an excellent meat substitute, the bottom line is that tofu and meat possess very different properties, and the key to consistently preparing tofu well is to understand these properties and use them to your advantage.
 
First, let's start with the similarities.  Using the right firmness and prepared properly, meat and tofu have a similar texture.  A trick some people use for tofu cutlets is to pre-slice extra firm tofu, freeze the slices, and thaw them before use.  Doing this creates more of a "meaty" texture within the tofu.  Tofu, like meat, marinates very well.  Tofu can be grilled, stir-fried, broiled, baked, slow-cooked, or deep fried, similarly to meat.  Yes, all this is possible with tofu, provided you take into account the differences.
 
First of all, unlike meat, tofu has no flavor of its own.  This is a very important consideration, because, unlike cooking meat, where the objective is to enhance its flavor, there is absolutely nothing to enhance with tofu.  When you cook tofu, you will be adding flavor, not contributing to it.  Second, unlike meat, tofu is not composed of fibers; it more or less is one solid block of protein.  For this reason, although tofu will marinate well, it will not marinate the same way beef, for instance, because there is no capillary action taking place within the fibers that will draw the marinade in.  When marinating tofu, use a marinade with a good amount of salt to help with the uptake of the marinade (think osmosis here), cut the pieces small, and be generous with your time.  If you're short on time and marinating is not an option, it's possible to speed up the process significantly by braising it, which is traditionally how tofu is cooked in Asia.  To braise tofu, place small, bite-sized pieces into a hot wok with seasonings and add broth.  Allow the tofu to sit and simmer, undisturbed for at least five minutes, uncovered.  Doing so will allow the tofu to absorb the flavor of the broth and spices.  Afterwards, one can thicken the sauce, our use it as-is.  The longer the tofu sits in the sauce, the more flavorful it will become.  On a personal note, I think tofu tastes best if it has a slightly tangy flavor to it.  Try tofu in hot and sour soup, with a lemon-pepper marinade, or even slow cooked or grilled with barbecue sauce.  
 
Firmness is another factor to consider, when using tofu in your meals.  For substituting meat or ground meat, use a firm or extra firm variety.  One may use medium or soft tofu for soups, and Asian-style stir-fries where the tofu is the main ingredient.  Silken tofu should be reserved for dips, smoothies, and sauces, unless indicated otherwise.  Happy cooking!
 
 

Hot and Sour Soup

Serves about 4
 
 

Ingredients

 
4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1/2 cup sliced bamboo shoots
1/4 cup sliced shiitake or other available mushroom
1 cup medium firmness tofu, in small cubes or strips
2-4 tablespoons low-sodium tamari or soy sauce, to suit taste
1-3 tablespoons white vinegar, to suit taste
1 tablespoon Tabasco sauce, to suit taste
black pepper, to suit taste
4 large eggs, beaten
4 tablespoons corn starch, mixed into a little bit of water (for thickening)
 

Directions

 
1)  In a medium pot, bring broth to a boil, and add bamboo shoots, mushrooms, tofu, tamari, vinegar, black pepper, and Tabasco sauce.  Adjust seasonings to suit taste.  lower heat to medium, and slowly add a little bit of the corn starch mixture to the hot soup, until desired consistency is obtained, usually that of light gravy.
 
2)  Slowly add half the beaten eggs, wait a few seconds, and gently stir the soup one rotation to create "egg drops."  The more you stir, the smaller the egg drops will be.  Add the remainder of the eggs and repeat.
 
 

Noodles in Thai Peanut Sauce

serves about 4
 

Ingredients

 
1 lb Chinese lo mein noodles, or linguine
1/4 cup orange juice
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
3 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
3 teaspoons soy sauce or tamari
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 inch length of ginger, peeled and smashed (or 1 tsp ground ginger)
1 tablespoons sugar or honey
1 teaspoons Asian style chili sauce
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 lb medium firmness tofu, diced
Shredded carrots, julienned cucumber, chopped peanuts (for garnish)
 

Directions

 
1. In a measuring cup, mix orange juice, toasted sesame oil, peanut butter, soy sauce or tamari, garlic, 1 ginger, sugar, and chili sauce.  If mixture is too thick, add more orange juice.  If it is too thin, add more peanut butter.  
 
2. In a hot wok, pour in peanut sauce and bring to a boil, stirring constantly.  Reduce heat to medium and allow to simmer for 2 minutes.  Add tofu and toss gently in sauce.  Simmer for 3 - 5 minutes.  Add cooked noodles and toss to coat.  Sprinkle with shredded cucumbers or diced bell peppers.  Garnish with chopped roasted peanuts.
 
To rate and review click here
 
For more tofu recipes, please visit my blog, I Speak Food, at www.allaya.com.  
 
Photos are for illustrative purposes only. 

Social Bookmarks

About the Author

Allaya Fleischer

Allaya Fleischer is a foodie and world traveller who unifies her life experiences, diverse friendships, and family history through food. Originally from Thailand, her stays and travels took her through Germany, France, England, Barbados, Nepal, Japan, Hong Kong, Korea, and finally to the United States, among other places.  Allaya is a contributor to Bitayavon Magazine, and currently lives in Manhattan with her husband and children.  See Allaya's blog, I Speak Food at www.allaya.com, her companion Facebook page, and don't forget to follow her Tweets and Pins!

Comments (0)

Leave a comment

Please login to leave a comment.

Web Development Developed by Joomi
RADesign Designed by RADesign
zest CookKosher is a Zest Group project